Welcome Vanessa Kelly! This fabo author writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra. Her next book, My Favorite Countess, comes out in May. Her latest book, An Invitation To Sin, is still available on-line and in bookstores. You can visit Vanessa on-line at: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com
One very lucky commenter will win a copy of her anthology, An Invitation to Sin! Be sure to include your email address in your comment. 🙂
I was born into an Irish-Italian-American family, so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was growing up. Both sides of the family had many aunts, uncles, and cousins, which meant lots of people hanging out at various kitchen tables, eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze. Thankfully for me, the Italian side of the family was my mother’s—to this day, she’s the best cook I ever met. When she died, my siblings and I photocopied every recipe she ever used and cobbled it together into a book. I still use those recipes on a daily basis.
Today I’m working on a prequel chapter to post on my website. It’s for my next book, My Favorite Countess, which will be released on May 3rd. I often use the kitchen table to write on my Alphasmart, so I can spread out my notes and reference books and have plenty of room to work.
And since today is Sunday, my dad and stepmother are coming for dinner, so I’m making one of the old family favorites—spaghetti and meatballs. I got everything assembled and ready to go early in the afternoon.
I always use my mother’s recipe when I cook spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a bit labor intensive, but always worth it. The trick to my mother’s fabulous meatballs is that she used three kinds of ground meat—beef, pork, and veal. It’s not always easy to track those three down, so just do the best you can. Even with beef, it will still taste great. Oh, and by the way, Italians call it gravy, not sauce!
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- ½ cup bread crumbs (she used Progresso bread crumbs, but any kind will do)
- ½ cup locatelli or parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped fine
- 3 eggs
- 2 lbs. ground beef-pork-veal mixture (using the 3 kinds of meat really gives it the flavor)
- Additional pork or beef bones
- Salt, pepper, garlic salt
- 1 can peeled Italian plum tomatoes, crushed (she always bought the whole ones and crushed them by hand)
- 2 cans tomato paste
- Garlic clove, minced
- ½ diced onion (optional)
- Olive oil
In a large pot, sauté the pork or beef bones on medium-low heat in 1/3 cup olive oil (she actually used 2 Tbl. rendered pork fat!).
Mix meat mixture together with the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and eggs. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Shape and form meatballs.
Remove bones from oil and fry meatballs until they have a good, fairly thick brown crust. You’ll have to do this in batches, not allowing the meatballs in the pot to touch each other.
When all the meatballs are cooked, remove, drain on paper towels, and set aside.
Add to the pot: the minced garlic, diced onion. Cook on low until onions sweat a bit. Add the tomato paste. Using the tomato paste can, add three cans of water per can of tomato paste (or 6 cans of water). Cook for two or three minutes over medium heat.
Add the can of tomatoes, crushed and with stems removed. Stir to blend. Bring to a low boil.
Turn down sauce to simmer, and add meatballs. Simmer for two to three hours. Adjust the seasoning to taste – salt and pepper.
Serve with pasta of your choice.
I have some of my mother’s other recipes posted on my website. You can check them out at: http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/below_stairs.html
As you can see, I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen. How could I not? It’s in the genes—both Irish and Italian!